Too little sleep lowers IQ: report

People in the United Kingdom are getting too little sleep, and are even running the risk of mental retardation, according to a report released Sunday.

Loughborough University's Sleep Research Centre says an increasing number of offices are staffed around the clock, pushing Britain towards a 24 hour society.

According to the report, each hour short of eight hours of sleep a night could knock one point off a person's IQ. It would be easy to lose fifteen points in a week, resulting in a person with an IQ of 100 becoming "borderline retarded."

The Sleep Centre also says a lack of sleep could lead to a decrease in reasoning skills and linguistic coherence, since sleep is the time when the brain processes information received during waking hours.

A new organization, the British Sleep Foundation, will be launched on Tuesday to raise awareness of the issue, and encourage Britons to get more sleep.